Cosmetology is the practice in which a professional beautifies the hair, skin or face. Cosmetologists may be hair stylists, makeup specialists, nail technicians or skin specialists. In order to become a cosmetologist, you must attend cosmetology school and get your license. With the average cost of school being about $20,000, this isn’t a career to be taken lightly. Fortunately, there are ways you can save on your program of choice.
Here, we’re looking at what to expect from cosmetology education and how to save money in the process.
Saving money on cosmetology school
Among the tricks to saving expenses include:
- Only take out loans for money that you need – Students oftentimes get themselves in trouble because they take out more money in loans than they actually need. If you need a loan to help pay for tuition or for a portion of your living expenses, that’s understandable. But if you request more loan money to pay for your expensive eating habits or fine taste in clothing, that’s unnecessary. Get into good money habits when you’re young – the results will pay off immensely.
- Look into cosmetology grants – There are two types of grants – need-based grants and merit-based grants. Need-based grants are based off of your income. Merit-based grants are awarded to students who qualify for reasons other than low income. These can include anything from being a single mom to being a certain ethnicity. There are millions of dollars available in grants and scholarships; it’s up to you to get awarded them.
- Choose a less expensive school – While some beauty schools cost tens of thousands of dollars, that doesn’t mean all of them do. Do an extensive search in your area on the cost of several different schools. Find one that fits or comes closest to your predetermined budget and go with that one. After getting your license, you can gain experience and work your way up to where you want to be. Once you have 10 years of experience under your belt, it won’t matter what school you graduated from.
- Work part-time while in school – Most cosmetology schools offer classes at night. Consider working as a receptionist at a salon during the day and going to school at night. Yes, you will be extremely busy, but most cosmetology programs are only 9 months to 2 years, so you can make it work. If the school of your choice only has classes during the day, pick up a serving job part-time to bring in some extra money. The less debt you have when you graduate, the better.
- Take your licensure test immediately after graduating – If you’re forced to wait a few months to take your licensure examination, apply at salons in the meantime instead of sitting around. There are salons out there that will hire people who have completed their program of study but are still waiting to get licensed. Another benefit of taking the test as soon as possible is the information is still fresh on your mind.
Get into a program, study hard and stay focused.
Take out minimal, if any, loans and look for grants and scholarships.
It won’t be long until you’re a licensed cosmetologist and gaining a reliable and steady influx of clients – and a steady paycheck!
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ. She writes on saving money, small businesses and travel.